Who’s Guilty?

A shotgun approach to running a business

By: Connie Laughlin

I see many leaders caught up in the act of balancing meetings with their CPAs, attorneys, insurance agents, bankers and vendors. Meanwhile, goals to increase profitability aren’t given 100-percent attention because these leaders are too involved in administrative duties and handling management tasks without the appropriate support. This creates ineffective leadership and chaos within the organization, and takes time away from revenue-generating activities.

There’s never enough time to address all the items on your to-do list, let alone resolve the issues. As a business owner, how do you know each important aspect, initiative and department in your company is being run efficiently and appropriately? Are you operating in compliance with employment laws?

What is shotgun management?
Shotgun management is a poor business practice. There’s no focus when you’re trying to cover the entire business, rather than rifling in on specific targets with strategic initiatives. Often, business owners feel they have no options due to lack of operating capital, education, time and/or support.

If you and your employees aren’t highly trained, certified and attending ongoing coursework in employment law, human resources (HR) training, risk management and safety protocol – how do you know you’re on top of it?

What’s at risk?
One unprecedented suit, claim or judgment can put your assets in harm’s way. Surprisingly, the little things you may not have even thought about can be financial landmines. Landmines involve employees and managers who are not trained appropriately in key areas. Some common issues include:

• Use of unsuitable language
• Use of inappropriate words in want ads
• Old employee handbooks
• Lack of safety training
• Faulty equipment
• Negligent I-9 documentation
• Messy terminations

If your Is aren’t dotted and your Ts aren’t crossed, get everything in order immediately. When appropriate HR practices are not in place, you’ll find employee morale is down, along with your production.

What about hiring pros?
Can you afford them? The certified professional in human resources (PHR) salary range is around $50,688 to $92,620. If you’re contemplating hiring a PHR, keep in mind you must be able to fully trust this individual to implement best practices. Make sure no one impedes that person’s implementation strategies.

What would you do if a workers’ compensation insurer were going to continue to pay a claim you believed to be fraudulent? Is your safety manual and training up-to-date? The median salary for a risk manager is $55,088 to $141,475, and for a safety manager, it’s $41,568 to $100,821.

Is outsourcing an option?
Outsourcing your HR support, safety support program and employment risk management through a professional employer organization’s (PEO’s) packaged service option can be valid option. It’s much tidier than hiring multiple professionals whose salaries could add up to a lot more than you’d pay for the HR package through a reputable PEO.

Additionally, PEOs have shared liability, so they’ve got your back, whereas, unfortunately, some employees don’t. You’ll find you now have more control over your liability, employee costs and your experience ratings. A PEO’s HR “bundle” includes:

• Payroll administration
• Workers’ compensation insurance
• Safety programs
• HR
• Optional benefits

If you wish to consider a PEO relationship, first check them out at the National Association of PEOs website: www.NAPEO.com. Another good resource is www.payscale.com. Due diligence says look for those who maintain highest level of certifications and audited financials.

Connie Laughlin is a business consultant for UniqueHR. For more information, visit www.uniquehr.com. You may also contact Laughlin at 361-852-6392 or conniel@uniquehr.com.